RIDL baffles Pink Bollworms

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Pink bollworm larvae, photo by Peggy Greb, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org It was love at first sight for many pink bollworms this year, but as their eyes met across the cotton field all was not as it seemed… Oxitec (a company based not far from the Plantwise Knowledge Bank team), have managed to genetically engineer…
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Creating super banana plants in the fight against nematode worms

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Scientists in the UK and Uganda are developing a genetically modified (GM) variety of banana that is resistant to nematode worms, which account for a high percentage of banana crop losses in Africa. It is estimated that the losses of crops due to nematodes amounts to $125 billion a year. Currently, nematodes are controlled using…
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Update: Plant Health News (7 Dec 11)

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Here’s a taste of some of the latest news stories about plant health: Whitefly, tomato growers find truce in new Texas variety  EurekAlert!, 5 December 2011 Weather blamed for rise in violet root rot FWi – Arable News, 2 December 2011 Parasitoids Larvae in Caterpillars Affect Behaviour of Moths CropBiotech Update, 2 December 2011 Scientists Evaluate Effects of Bt…
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Managing deoxynivalenol (DON) contamination in Fusarium head blight affected wheat

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Fusarium spp. (particularly F. graminearum) causes a serious disease on wheat called Fusarium head blight. The disease affects the quantity and quality of grain and under favorable weather conditions can cause more than 45% yield losses. Symptoms include the appearance of tan or brown discoloration on spikelets resulting in white, shriveled kernels. Such infected kernels…
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The seed social network

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A new study by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) looking at cowpea crop diversity following floods and drought in Mozambique has shown that seed sharing networks are a valuable way to maintain, and often improve, crop diversity. Informal sharing and trade of seed within and between local communities in the Limpopo River Valley,…
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Weevils get bugged

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Banana weevil, image from via rural Never mind phone hacking scandals, it has recently been revealed that radio tags have been attached to banana weevils allowing their exact movements to be followed. Ignoring any controversy over invasions of privacy, this new insight into weevil journeys’ has produced some interesting results for researchers and banana growers…
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Update: New Pest & Disease Records (30 Nov 11)

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We’ve selected a few of the latest new geographic, host and species records for plant pests and diseases from CAB Abstracts. Click on the links to view the abstracts. Molecular characterization of a new strain of sugarcane streak mosaic virus (SCSMV). Li WenFeng; He Zhen; Li ShiFang; Huang YingKun; Zhang ZhiXiang; Jiang DongMei; Wang XiaoYan;…
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Virtual farming becomes a reality

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Screenshot of a farming app, image from TheAppera The modern world seems to have an increasing fascination with virtual farming, as more and more of us are downloading applications like ‘FarmVille’ and ‘Zombie farm’. For farmers in Tanzania growing crops successfully is much more than a game, but they are now joining smartphone users to try to increase their…
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Clash of the food security threats

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“On a planet with sufficient food for all, a billion people go hungry.” The Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change As the global population grows, it is not just one factor that threatens food security but several interconnected threats that will continue to make it difficult to produce enough food for everyone. The combination…
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Update: Plant Health News (22 Nov 11)

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Here’s a taste of some of the latest news stories about plant health: Black Sigatoka fungus hits Dominican Republic’s bananas Fresh Fruit Portal, 21 November 2011 Cassava Virus Spreading in East Africa CropBiotech Update, 18 November 2011 A Rapid PCR-Based Detection Method of Black Leaf Streak Disease in Indonesian Banana Crops CropBiotech Update, 18 November 2011 Scientists Develop New Product to Boost Kiwifruit…
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